Discover: Conceptualizing multidimensional barriers: a framework for assessing constraints in realizing recreational benefits of urban green spaces

To assess constraints in realizing recreational benefits of urban green spaces, partners Wolff Manuel, Mascarenhas André, Haase Annegret, Haase Dagmar, Andersson Erik, Borgström Sara T, Kronenberg Jakub, Laszkiewicz Edyta and Biernacka Magdalena have conceptualized multidimensional barriers explained in their latest article.

An intertwined set of barriers constrain the accessibility to urban green spaces and the way their recreational benefits are experienced.  Although many excellent studies use physical proxies for optimizing green space accessibility in cities, specific barriers that affect accessibility are often under-estimated, such as personal conditions, institutional frameworks, as well as people’s perceptions. Indeed, constraints to the accessibility of urban green spaces are not so much the interactions between various physical, personal, and institutional barriers, but more the significance that beneficiaries assign to them as perceived barrier effects.

Given the importance of barriers when people make decisions, we present in this study a conceptual framework to capture the cumulative and interactive effects of different barriers on realizing recreational benefits of urban green spaces. The framework classifies physical, personal, and institutional barriers and highlights their interactions based on three case studies: Stockholm, Leipzig, and Lodz.

Studying barriers seeks to improve the knowledge about the non-use of urban green spaces and to enable us to draw conclusions about the actual accessibility of recreational benefits. Deduced from the conceptual framework, three pathways are contrasted for improving accessibility to the recreational benefits of urban green spaces: the environment, knowledge, and engagement. We argue that these pathways should not be a diffuse objective, but a sensitive and scale-dependent re-balance of individual, physical, and institutional factors for considering justice in environmental and green space planning and management. Our systematic conceptualization and classification of multidimensional barriers enables a more comprehensive understanding of individuals’ decisions in terms of accessing recreational benefits.

Read the full article here